14 Jan 2011

PNG elects Governor General

3:36 pm on 14 January 2011

The Government's candidate, Michael Ogio, has been elected Papua New Guinea's new governor general.

The vote comes after the Supreme Court ruled in December that the June election of Sir Paulias Matane was unconstitutional.

Our correspondent Alex Rheeney says one of the candidates who didn't manage to secure the required 15 MPs' signatures for nomination had threatened court action, but the vote went ahead.

"He is currently the minister for higher education in the Somare Cabinet, and he is also the North Bougainville MP. Now that he has been elected by the PNG Parliament to be PNG's next Governor General, it subsequently means that he has to resign from office and there has to be a by-election for the North Bougainville open electorate."

Alex Rheeney says Michael Ogio will now fly to London to recieve Buckingham Palace's approval, and is expected to take up the appointment by March.